Lemon Buttermilk Cake

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If you like lemon desserts, or even if you don’t like lemon desserts, this is the only lemon dessert recipe you will ever need for the rest of your life. It is a masterpiece.

This Lemon Buttermilk Cake is sensational. Everyone at the office was raving about it, even the ladies on a diet! It was too good to be passed up. I too ate much more of it than I should have. Oh, lemon cake, let me count the ways I love thee: incredibly moist, delicate crumb; texture as smooth as velvet; impeccable balance between sweetness and tartness; perfect level of lemon flavour; neither too dense nor insubstantial; meltingly smooth lemon sugar glaze.

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Just out of the oven.

Another great thing about this cake is that it’s very simple make. It’s also a fantastic way to use up leftover buttermilk. (Can someone please explain to me why buttermilk is only sold by the litre? Ugh.) Don’t be alarmed if the batter seems unusually liquidy when you pour it into the pan. My batter was, and I couldn’t be happier with how the cake turned out.

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All glazed up!

I’ve adapted the original recipe. Everything I’ve made from Epicurious.com has been very successful (I stick to the highest-rated recipes and incorporate the reviews), so if you ever need a bit of inspiration for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert, I recommend that you check out the site. I used to rely on Allrecipes.com, but I find that Epicurious’ recipes reach gourmet heights. Which cooking/baking websites do you love?

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Lemon Buttermilk Cake

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon zest
5 tablespoons lemon juice
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup icing sugar, plus more as needed

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour a (9-inch) Bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until mixture is smooth and light in texture. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, lemon zest, and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, and set aside.
  3. Add eggs to butter-sugar mixture, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. In 3 additions, alternate adding sifted dry ingredients and wet ingredients to butter-sugar mixture, mixing on low until just incorporated.
  4. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan. Bake until center of cake springs back when touched and a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.
  5. Remove cake from oven and let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Release sides and bottom of cake from pan with a narrow metal spatula or knife. Invert pan and turn out cake. Place wire rack in a baking pan and set the cake, flat side up, on the rack.
  6. In a small bowl, combine icing sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon cold water and stir until very smooth. Add a little more icing sugar or water as necessary to achieve a glaze consistency (similar to that of honey). Spoon glaze evenly over the cake. When glaze has firmed, transfer cake to a plate. Slice and serve at room temperature.
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